I just returned from my 60th class reunion. My wife has begged me not to tell anyone it was the 60th. I tried comforting her by telling her I graduated at age 9. While I was at the reunion I decided that age does some terrible things to people. Thank God they had name tags with our senior picture on them or I would have recognized few. In some cases it was like going to a wake for all of us. Ageing can be cruel. Some of the old grads had fallen apart a little at a time while others kind of crashed and burned. The one thing they seemed to have in common was they loved talking about it. I heard more about bad hearts, knee and hip replacements and just about everything but STD. There were very few success stories but what do you expect from a bunch of underachievers. One thing I noticed was that I was glad to see everyone, even the ones I didn’t particularly like then. It did seem that once everyone got older they grew up and got a little nicer.
While in California I spent some time with a rancher friend and went to the livestock sale in Turlock. I was just sitting when I saw someone smiling and waving at me. Jake Stanley from Hermiston was there buying cattle for a feedlot in the NW. The return trip I had the company of my eccentric brother who came with me for a visit even though the last time he visited I worked him for a week modifying my deck. One of the reasons he likes to visit here is that sometimes his wife annoys him. He mistakenly thought that by leaving her home he would be safe. Wrong. First problem was the pilot light on the hot water heater went out and she was incapable of lighting it. He called the utility company and had them send a technician over to light it. He then called his wife back to inform her of the appointment and got no answer. Spent the next hour and a half calling and finally got her to answer. The next day the outside temperature got to 103° and the wife called to inform him the air conditioning had quit. Inside temp was 87°. Since the air conditioner was new it was still on warranty and he called the guy who installed it and arranged for an appointment to fix it. He then called his wife back to tell her to be sure she was at home at 2:00 p.m. to let the guy in. No answer. Again he spent 2 hours trying to call to no avail. Finally he called the neighbor and asked him to go next door and tell Linda to answer the phone. The kindly neighbor complied and called back to say she wasn’t home. An hour later he finally contacted her and scolded her severely for not being attentive to his phone calls. It was a pretty good rant and he ended up hanging up and realizing he hadn’t told her about the 2 o’clock appointment. He called back and she didn’t answer.
I just finished helping a friend gather his herd to move to the forest. I wish there was a program like the weed program to remove all the old barbed wire from the range. It seems all the old ranches are littered with it and in tall grass it is especially dangerous. Any one who has ridden a horse into some of this knows how bad it can be. A valuable horse can be ruined quickly and maybe ruin the cowboy as well. There are plenty of hazards like badger holes, rocks etc. nothing can be done about but the wire is fixable. It is the same all over the West. In a lot of cases the fields are leased and neither the leasee or the leasor want to pay the price to clean it up. I am considering limiting my riding to the arena or branding pen.
Remember everyone the Kickoff to CJD Ranch Rodeo is Saturday June 29th. A great chance to watch local cowboys compete in classic events. Should be about 12 teams all local. Things start off Friday the 28th with a trail ride to the top of the Moraine and anyone can join. Ride starts at 2:30 p.m. at the rodeo grounds and get back about 5:00. Dinner and Cowboy Calcutta follow and the public is invited. Have a ball!